Today’s Highlight in History:
On Feb. 27, 1933, Germany’s parliament building, the Reichstag (RYKS’-tahg), was gutted by fire; Chancellor Adolf Hitler, blaming the Communists, used the fire to justify suspending civil liberties.
On this date:
In 1922, the Supreme Court, in Leser v. Garnett, unanimously upheld the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which guaranteed the right of women to vote.
In 1939, the Supreme Court, in National Labor Relations Board v. Fansteel Metallurgical Corp., effectively outlawed sit-down strikes.
In 1942, the Battle of the Java Sea began during World War II; Imperial Japanese naval forces scored a decisive victory over the Allies.
In 1951, the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, limiting a president to two terms of office, was ratified.
In 1968, at the conclusion of a CBS News special report on the Vietnam War, Walter Cronkite delivered a commentary in which he said the conflict appeared “mired in stalemate.”
In 1973, members of the American Indian Movement occupied the hamlet of Wounded Knee in South Dakota, the site of the 1890 massacre of Sioux men, women and children. (The occupation lasted until the following May.)
In 1982, Wayne Williams was found guilty of murdering two of the 28 young Blacks whose bodies were found in the Atlanta area over a 22-month period. (Williams, who was also blamed for 22 other deaths, has maintained his innocence.)
In 1991, Operation Desert Storm came to a conclusion as President George H.W. Bush declared that “Kuwait is liberated, Iraq’s army is defeated,” and announced that the allies would suspend combat operations at midnight, Eastern time.
In 1998, with the approval of Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s House of Lords agreed to end 1,000 years of male preference by giving a monarch’s first-born daughter the same claim to the throne as any first-born son.
In 2003, children’s television host Fred Rogers died in Pittsburgh at age 74.
In 2010, in Chile, an 8.8 magnitude earthquake and tsunami killed 524 people, caused $30 billion in damage and left more than 200,000 homeless.
In 2015, actor Leonard Nimoy, 83, world famous to “Star Trek” fans as the pointy-eared, purely logical science officer Mr. Spock, died in Los Angeles. Boris Nemtsov, a charismatic Russian opposition leader and sharp critic of President Vladimir Putin, was gunned down near the Kremlin.
Ten years ago: “The King’s Speech” won four Academy Awards, including best picture; Colin Firth won best actor for his portrayal of Britain’s King George VI. Frank Buckles, the last surviving American veteran of World War I who’d also survived being a civilian prisoner of war in the Philippines in World War II, died in Charles Town, West Virginia, at age 110. Duke Snider, 84, the Baseball Hall of Famer who helped the Dodgers bring their only World Series crown to Brooklyn, died in Escondido, California.
Five years ago: Hillary Clinton overwhelmed Bernie Sanders in the South Carolina primary. A cease-fire brokered by the United States and Russia went into effect across Syria. A violent altercation between Ku Klux Klan members and counter-protesters in Anaheim, California, left three people stabbed. “Fifty Shades of Grey” nabbed five prizes at the Golden Raspberry Awards: worst screenplay, actor, actress, screen combo, and film of the year in a tie with “Fantastic Four.”
One year ago: U.S. stocks posted their worst one-day drop since 2011, as worldwide markets plummeted amid growing anxiety about the coronavirus; the Dow tumbled nearly 1,200 points. President Donald Trump declared that a widespread U.S. outbreak of the virus was not inevitable, even as top health authorities at his side warned that more infections were coming. Vice President Mike Pence convened his first meeting of the president’s coronavirus task force, a day after he was designated as the government’s point person for the epidemic. Saudi Arabia closed off the holiest sites in Islam to foreign pilgrims due to the coronavirus.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Joanne Woodward is 91. Consumer advocate Ralph Nader is 87. Actor Barbara Babcock is 84. Actor Howard Hesseman is 81. Actor Debra Monk is 72.
Rock singer-musician Neal Schon (Journey) is 67. Rock musician Adrian Smith (Iron Maiden) is 64. Actor Timothy Spall is 64. Rock musician Paul Humphreys (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark) is 61. Country singer Johnny Van Zant (Van Zant) is 61. Rock musician Leon Mobley (Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals) is 60. Basketball Hall of Famer James Worthy is 60. Actor Adam Baldwin is 59. Actor Grant Show is 59. Actor Noah Emmerich is 56. Actor Donal Logue (DOH’-nuhl LOHG) is 55. R&B singer Chilli (TLC) is 50. Rock musician Jeremy Dean (Nine Days) is 49. Country-rock musician Shonna Tucker is 43. Chelsea Clinton is 41. Actor Brandon Beemer is 41. Rock musician Cyrus Bolooki (New Found Glory) is 41. Rock musician Jake Clemons (Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band) is 41. R&B singer Bobby V is 41. Singer Josh Groban is 40. Banjoist Noam (cq) Pikelny is 40. Rock musician Jared Champion (Cage the Elephant) is 38. Actor Kate Mara is 38. TV personality JWoww (AKA Jenni Farley) is 35. Actor Lindsey Morgan is 31.